Stylish Scrambler

Benelli Leoncino

Engine: 500cc, liquid cooled, double overhead camshaft
Transmission: 6 speed wet clutch
Power: 35kW
Torque: 45Nm@5000rpm
Curb weight: 205 kg
Fuel Capacity: 12.7 litres
Seat: 815 mm
Price: $8990

As part of nostalgia month, Benelli are bringing back their Leoncino model – but this time as a 500cc offering, and with just enough performance to go beyond the learner experience. Yes, this is a restricted LAMS compliant machine, but the parallel-twin four-stroke engine has just enough brass balls to take things next level.  

Sharing the same engine/platform as the Benelli TRK 502 means quick throttle response and power delivery and bugger all downside. The trellis frame shows off that engine nicely, with the single LED headlight providing long distance glow down the road.

Handling, especially on the open road is a breeze, with the wide bars offering great leverage, with low speed maneuverability. Suspension gets 50mm forks on the front, and a single rear shock, both offering adjustability; ideal if you’re hosting a passenger, or just like to mod. While not on par with the super-high ends, when pushed it can adapt to the harshest of bumps – and put more expensive bikes to shame.

This is one LAMS machine that the lockout laws won’t affect. With such a stoic powerplant it will happily engage anything you require with plenty up its sleeve when legal limits are reached.

It’s obvious the brand’s committed. It’s a stylish scrambler/roadster that ticks all the boxes, despite the government barriers. As a bike full of character it really speaks to its Italian heritage – even if it’s now owned by a Chinese company.

For the full article grab the July 2019 issue of MAXIM Australia from newsagents and convenience locations. Subscribe here.


The Tough Road